Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure performed by a plastic surgeon that changes the shape of the breast using breast implants. Reason for having the procedure can be cosmetic including correcting sagging breasts, enlarging smaller breasts or increasing the firmness of the breast. Augmentation is also done as a reconstructive measure to restore shape following a partial or complete mastectomy.
Breast implants are available in different sizes, shapes and textures to accommodate a variety of body types and aesthetic needs. Breast implants are available in either a saline or silicone gel filled elastomer shell. Additional variables for implants include a contour or round shape or a smooth or textured surface.
The breast implant's size determines how much the implant weighs. Common calculations are 1 oz. of weight per cubic centimeter volume (cc) of fluid in the implant. For example, if an implant has 480 cc of fluid, it weighs approximately 1 lb. Two implants with 480 cc of fluid per implant would weigh approximately 2 lbs.
Impact on the Body
The impact of implants on a person’s body weight is based on how large the implants are. Most breast implants weigh a total of approximately 3/4 lb. to 1 lb. for two implants, one in each breast. This size does not significantly impact a person’s body weight.
Larger implants can affect a person’s body weight depending on much fluid is used in each implant. Body weight will be affected in correlation with the weight of the implants.
Breast implants do no impede the ability to breast feed. Implants do not affect sports activities, but sports requiring lateral movements like golf or tennis may require adjustments in the swinging motion. Tanning beds are not harmful to breast implants.
Common risks and side effects to breast implant surgery are scarring around the incision site, hematoma, implant deflation, infection and firmness of the breasts.
Breast implants obscure about 25 percent of breast tissue when conducting a mammogram. A National Cancer Institute study found that cancer in 55 percent of patients with implants was not detected during the mammogram process. Mammogram technicians should be aware of any breast implants in order to effectively conduct a mammogram.